Well, that was fun!
Were you one of the 650 people who came to the Focus On Ability Short Film Festival Awards Night at The Concourse in Sydney? Or one of the thousands who watched it live via Facebook? If not, you can see it here.
We ate, drank and danced the night away as well as well laughed and cried and shook our fists at the injustices some people have lived with. But, most of all, we left believing in the abilities of people with disability.
This is in no small part because of the creator of FOA, Martin Wren, who received fine praise for inspiring even the FOA Ambassador, Paul Duncan: 'He's led us to imagine the unimaginable, believe in the unbelievable and attain the unattainable.'
International winners travelled from Sri Lanka, England and Scotland this year and did their home countries extremely proud. Coincidentally, all three winning films are animations. In fact, Sri Lanka's 'Silent Sigh'
became that nation's first animated film to win an international award. Miriam Fox's 'Look For Me'
skilfully and beautifully reminds us all the look out for girls and young women with Autism, while Steven Fraser brilliantly uses 3-D animation and flip-boxes in 'What It Feels Like'
goes some way to showing us what it's like for a person to hear voices. Each film's pace reflects its message, effectively using sound and vivid colour.
NOVA is changing the world, one film at a time. But don't take our word for it, check out the film
that won the NOVA Employment Choice award. Maya Linksy
won a Kia Cerato for her frank and thoughtful self-documentary. Or treat yourself to the many school films entered this year, some shot on phone cameras, others shot by the school media team. Watch the documentaries here
and the short films here.
The winners of the Australian/New Zealand open section taught us about bullying, independence, parenting and inclusion as we visited the Art Gallery
of New South Wales, went on a bus trip
, followed a great guy called Paul
around as he went about his day, listened to Nash's parents'
story about Angelman's Syndrome.
Most of all, these stories taught us about persistence. The characters in these films have it in spades. And courage. They've got a fair bit of that, too!